Prosecutors Ask Ex-PM Abe for Questioning over Parties

Politics Society

Tokyo, Dec. 3 (Jiji Press)--Public prosecutors have asked the side of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for questioning of him on a voluntary basis over controversial dinner parties held by a group of his supporters, informed sources said Thursday.

The parties were held every year between 2013 and 2019, on the eve of state-funded annual cherry blossom-viewing parties hosted by Abe, while he was in office as prime minister.

Abe supporters and others attended the dinner parties, held at Tokyo hotels, with each of them paying 5,000 yen per party as fees. While the Abe side is suspected of having covered some 9 million yen of the gaps between actual party costs and fees collected from participants for the events for 2015 to 2019, most of the amount allegedly shouldered by the Abe side was not recorded in political fund reports for the former prime minister.

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office’s special unit, which is investigating the dinner parties for possible violation of the political funds control law, is now finding it necessary to seek a direct explanation from Abe about the alleged failure to book the spending, according to the sources.

In voluntary questioning by the special investigation squad, a state-paid secretary to Abe admitted covering the gaps and said that the spending should have been booked in the political fund reports, people familiar with the matter said. The secretary heads the Abe supporter group.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press